Here's the good news for the Giants: Brandon Jacobs thinks he'll be healthy enough to play against the Dolphins when the team gets back from its bye.
Here's the bad news: Jacobs doesn't sound all that happy about his role on the team. Jacobs was asked Tuesday if he thought that getting him back would be a big lift for the team.
"It’s only going to be a mental lift," he said of his return. "Justin [Tuck], he actually takes 60 to 70 plays a game. Me, I’ll come back and help as much as I can help with. I’m looking forward to helping as much as I can with the chances I’m given. ... When I say play, I mean do what I was doing before – three, four carries, five carries, whatever they ask."
Jacobs was dismissive when asked about Tom Coughlin's claim in the offseason that Jacobs would see more action this season. He implied that offseason talk is meaningless, a notion that's been backed up pretty well by the light workload given to Jacobs in the four games he's played this season.
It would be easy to gloss over the comments, although most Giants beat writerschose to highlightJacobs' words, while the Giants website, which transcribed everything else he had to say, chose not to share those words in a pretty telling move about whether they feel he was taking a shot at the team.
There's a good chance Jacobs would have seen more time against the Bills because the Giants finally realized Sunday that they are allowed to run the ball more than a handful of times each game. Expecting Kevin Gilbride to stick with the run is like expecting Charlie Sheen to stay sober, so he may have missed his best chance to get more work thanks to his sprained MCL.
Jacobs, like teammates Antrel Rolle and Osi Umenyiora, has long been a fan of running off his mouth without it having any actual impact on the field, so it's probably best not to make that much of this. It also works well as a way to remember not to make too much of some of the post facto explanations for the Giants win on Sunday that have popped up in recent days.
George Willis' piece from Tuesday's Post is a pretty good example. It's headlined "Faith in Each Other Keeping Giants Afloat" and is full of the usual stuff about how the Giants have started 4-2 because they work as a team and put individual desires aside in favor of the group.
If that was true, we wouldn't have heard the complaints of Jacobs and Umenyiora in recent weeks and we wouldn't have heard Ahmad Bradshaw complain about the play of the offensive line last week. The Giants won because Corey Webster picked off a bad pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick and because Eli Manning was smart enough to know that throwing at Drayton Florence meant either a big play or a penalty every single time.
That doesn't mean the team doesn't believe in itself and each other, it means that the Giants are the same as most other teams in the NFL and that their results come down to players making plays at key times in games. Believe me, Willis wouldn't be writing warm things about the Giants' faith in one another if Lawrence Tynes missed a chip shot field goal at the end of Sunday's game even though it wouldn't be any less true.
We just saw a great example of mythmaking with the coverage of the Boston Red Sox collapse, where a writer from the Boston Globetried to blame beer-drinking pitchers and an alleged Terry Francona painkiller addiction for the team's September collapse.
Back in 2004, strange behavior was idealized by Boston writers, and the players were perceived as the "idiots" who were so loose that they came back to beat the Yankees in the ALCS. It was able to imply the story that would have been if they held on to make the playoffs.
The reasons the Red Sox didn't hold on this year were entirely based on what happened on the field. The same is true of whatever happens with the Giants.
Jacobs is unhappy with his carries, but there's no reason to believe that will have the slightest impact on what happens with the Giants the rest of the way. Just remember that the same is true when you hear about how well Manning gets along with his teammates.